The Conservative Chick

In a city where "Dean in '04" bumperstickers still exist, a lone woman emerges to prove once and for all that cool chicks do not act like Carrie Bradshaw. She is. . .The Conservative Chick.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Today, I wasn't PMSing

So I was a little calmer, and also on drugs:

"Two things on [Miers]. First, being pro-life and a conservative doesn't mean she will do the job well. The vast majority of cases the Court hears are not abortion cases, or close-call elections. Day in and day out, the Court hears cases about employment law, jurisdiction, commerce, search and seizure, inadequate legal representation, patent priority, eminent domain, and a host of other extremely complicated legal theories and obscure laws. Abortion cases may reach the Court once every ten years--if that. Miers is doubtlessly very intelligent. But she has no qualifications that make me think she is a legal brain of the caliber SCOTUS justices need to be. Like I said last night, I will be thrilled to have a conservative on the bench to swing it our way. But Miers isn't the only one who would have done so, and I would have a hell of a lot more confidence in the abilities of some of the others to hear other cases and write opinions on them. I keep searching her name in Lexis and Findlaw and every other database I can think of, and she DOESN'T PUBLISH ANYTHING. That's frightening. Plenty of plain old lawyers publish every day, and here she's the POTUS council and she's got nothing. Renquist practically had a library attributed to him before he took the bench. Even Roberts managed to publish about once every three years (that's considered reasonable, if you're headed for a federal judgeship). Miers has nothing.

Second, I agree with you on the elections. I am NOT looking forward to '08. If I could be put in a coma sometime around March '08 and woken up in December, I would seriously consider it. It's going to be ugly, and I don't think it will go well for our side. But one of the major reasons it isn't going to go for us is that Bush has screwed up. He was never going to win the left, his hold over the middle was tenuous on his best day, and now he's in danger of losing the right because he keeps making stupid decisions and breaking promises. One of the reasons the hard-core right has held on with Bush is because of this very nomination--he *promised* to get another Scalia in there. If he's screwed it up now, he'll lose the right for good. Whatever happens, we have *got* to have a strong lead-in to the '08 election from the White House or we're screwed, and let me tell you, we might be screwed anyway. The Bush White House has done a shitty job of grooming anyone to take over leadership. Now Bush is losing allies left and right, and in '08 the party could actually split between a moderate no one really likes and a real hard-line right-winger (think Buchannan) because the Christian right is pissed that no one listens to them anymore. One bad opinion from Miers and the evangelicals will turn on Bush and the GOP, and then we are well and truly lost. "

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

And then later, I said:

"I guess I would now characterize my concern as being for the implications of the nomination, not the nomination itself. I still think this was a big "screw you" to the conservatives who have been waiting YEARS for a fifth good justice, even if it wasn't intended as such. Bush deserves the heat he gets over this from conservatives--he did it to save a fight from the Dems, after all, and maybe he needs the reminder that we haven't been defending him for five years for the sake of our own health. Conservatives have done a damn good job of falling in line with Bush over just about everything, and this is their reward? Yeah, that sucks.

And I'm not as worried about setting the stage for future Borkings as I am setting the stage for the confirmation process to be a litany of hypotheticals resembling a first year law class.

She's probably a great woman, but I still say conservatives have the right to be pissed, and your friend Dionne is dead on that this is an insult to judges who hung in through *years* of waiting to be confirmed and then have stuck their necks out against judicial activism and the liberal mud slinging. This stealth candidate thing stinks. I also still want to know why he didn't nominate her all these years if she's so wonderful. If he planned this, that both sucks *and* blows, simultaneously.

And now, since it is fast approaching nine o'clock, I am going home. I hate today."

More on Miers

This is from today, after I'd heard about Miers's pro-life background and her conversion to evangelical Christianity in the 1970s. Both of those things go a long way toward convincing me she is a good person, but that still doesn't mean she'll be a good justice.

"Okay, so I (like most people) don't know Bush personally and can only go on his track record in appointing people. IMO, he bats about .500, maybe a bit higher--and that average is pushed WAY up because of Condi and Rumsfeld, two noms he will never equal. Maybe Miers is the bestest SCOTUS nominee ever, so wonderful she'll put Scalia to shame. But how are we supposed to know that, and how are conservatives supposed to just blindly trust that Bush's decision is fool-proof? This is the guy who appointed Michael Brown. This is the guy who is trying to put in Government Hack Barbi as head of ICE. It's not like he hasn't scared the living daylights out of conservatives before in order to move toward the center, either. (See: civil unions, endorsement of, two weeks before election.)

But the most objectionable thing about this nomination, IMO, has nothing to do with whether she is pro-life or would like to start up a Planned Parenthood clinic inside the Mall of America. The problem is that, because she has no judicial record and no significant legal writings, the judicial committee will be much more free to interrogate her on personal values and on what she *might* rule, if certain cases came before her. That is a terrible, terrible precedent to set. Judicial litmus tests, speculative rulings and interrogation on private beliefs will ruin the Court more quickly and more permanently than another Souter. Nominations and justices come and go, but bad precedent will bite our children's children in the ass.

So basically, if everything I've heard about Miers is true, I will be personally thrilled to have her on the Court. But I still think it's a bad nomination. It's not as though she was the only conservative, pro-life, female strict constructionist out there. There are plenty that even have proven judicial records. I can't believe his desire to avoid a fight in the Senate wasn't a strong factor in this. Bush promised us another Scalia or Thomas, and now the vast majority of conservatives are simply unable to tell if he is delivering, or flaking. I think we have every right to question his judgement.

Also, Bush may know her as a friend and a lawyer and I respect that. But he doesn't know her as a judge. No one does. And that's cause for concern."

Harriet Hears a "Huh?"

So, with encouragement (and by "encouragement" I mean "orders") from Joia, I decided that I should post my Harriet Miers nomination thoughts. Let me start by saying that I am no longer as outraged as I was on Monday morning, but I am still not happy with this nomination. I'm going to post my various thoughts in a couple of posts, so here goes.

From Monday morning:

"Bill Krystle made the most damning point against this nom on Fox this morning, and it's one I think the GOP needs to take into battle to defeat this idiotic, cowardly, spineless nomination once and for all. Miers has worked for Bush for ten years now, and he never once nominated her to any bench. Instead, he nominated women like Priscilla Owen (I might have to start my own fanclub for that lady) and Janice Rogers Brown, who truly have dedicated their lives "to the rule of law." (I will never forget that quote, Mr. Bush, and neither will people far more influential than me.) Owen and Brown have spent years defending strict constructionism and putting themselves on the line for real judicial restraint. This woman has done none of that. If she wasn't good enough for a nomination to a lesser court for ten years, why the hell is she good enough for SCOTUS now? I don't believe Bush will ever be able to explain that away.

We are screwed. I wonder if, in her swearing in ceremony, she will use her legal name or her alias--I believe it's 'Souter.'"

Then, if I remember correctly, there was a lot of reassuring from the Prez, a lot of cursing from me, and some frantic, slightly buzzed e-mailing with Joia Monday night. Then I got a paper cut, got distracted by Wentworth Miller and went to bed.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Cambridge Cooties! EW!

Seriously, people--this place is catchy.

Much to her dismay, The Conservative Chick discovered this weekend, while on that most Cambridge-y of outings--a trip to her favorite coffee shop--that she has been spending too much time hanging out in the People's Republic. Now don't worry too much. Your humble commentator is not about to go change her party registration to Green/Rainbow, or go grab a box of Hilary/Obama '08 bumperstickers--hang on. Give The Conservative Chick a moment to collect herself after that particular daymare. . .okay. She's back.

At any rate, this realization came in the form of a new prejudice of which The Conservative Chick had not heretofore been aware. You see, The Chick has been working on (naturally) a chicklit novel for the past two (loo-oong) years, and is nearly at the end of what she hopes will be final revisions before handing it over to a literary agent. For the first time, she is really, really close to the end--so close that she may actually have reached the final revision of the penultimate chapter. With the end in sight, The Chick has been spending a lot of time at various and sundry coffee shops in Boston, Newton and Cambridge, where she finds she can actually get some writing done. So on Saturday, after posting her short ode to Sandra Day O'Connor, The Conservative Chick made for her favorite spot--the corner stool in the window of Cafe Nation. Horror of horros, The Conservative Chick found that Cafe Nation had closed for the holiday weekend, leaving her without the iced mint chip latte was to have made up both breakfast and lunch. No other cafe has iced mint chip lattes with real chocolate mint chips floating around in them! What is an aspiring novelist to do???

Head to Starbucks, obviously. Surely that bastion of corporate America will not be closed--and indeed it was not. The Conservative Chick quickly ordered an iced caramel latte and hunkered down to listen to Nat King Cole and get to the revising. But as she sipped her icy and refreshing caramel delight, a horrible thought ocurred to her: What if she should finish her novel at Starbucks? No, no--it could not be. After two years of writing in independent coffee shops all over the Bay State (and once in a convent--The Conservative Chick begs you not to ask), she could not write her final lines in. . .Starbucks. For Starbucks is the bane of independent coffee shops everywhere--how many mom and pop stores have choked and died because they could not make a mocha frappucino for less than $4?

And then The Conservative Chick lifted her head in shock. Had she really become such an anti-corporate loon? Your humble commentator has spent hours of her life defending Starbucks and their business practices--urging others not to listen to the leftist, anti-capitalist propaganda. Indeed, The Conservative Chick's favorite episode of South Park is the one in which the parody of Starbucks moves to town, threatening to throw the indie coffee joint run by Tweak's parents out of business, but really just forcing all the other vendors to improve the quality of their product to compete! Yes! Corporate America is strong, and profitable, and improves competition! This is what The Conservative Chick believes!

Yet there she was, bristling at the thought that her final memory of writing her first novel might take place. . .beneath an ugly coffee-themed painting no doubt identical to five thousand others across the country. . .at Starbuck's. She was deeply, deeply ashamed. You see, the truth of the matter is that Starbucks is actually a healthy, responsible model of corporate behavior. From the excellence of their employee benefits to their practice of buying only fair-trade coffee, Starbucks is what every corporate giant should strive to be. And yet the liberal propaganda machine has beaten anti-Starbucks lies into the head of every socially-minded coffee drinker.

A sobering moment indeed, gentle reader. What The Conservative Chick took away from this experience was the power of suggestion. We know that running mom and pop stores out of business feels morally wrong, and we know that it is impossible for such stores to compete with the buying power and captial reserves of huge congolmerates. But what if those conglomerates actually provide good services with socially responsible policies. . .and actually make money doing it? Should we punish them for being smart, responsible business people? Should we strive to run them out of business? Should we boycott them in favor of indie places who may or may not treat their employees like expendable drones and don't recycle?

The reality is this: big conglomerates do not equal evil, and mom and pop stores don't equal good. When picking and choosing what businesses to patronize and which ones to ignore, one should not fall victim to either stereotypes. And when The Conservative Chick picks Cafe Nation over Starbucks, it should be because of things like the supremacy of mint chip lattes over plain old mochas, and not because of an ingrained bias toward big corporations. After all, like Kyle and the South Park gang learned, sometimes big corporations are good.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Goodbye, Sandy

Yesterday, as The Conservative Chick sat in her office chatting on the phone with her cousin about an upcoming trip to Eire, an officemate poked his head in the door and held up a note: SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR RETIRED

And there was much rejoicing.

Good ole Sandy has not been much of a boon to conservatives lately. . .or like, ever. . .but somehow, after the initial Dance of Joy, The Conservative Chick was struck with a kind of political nostalgia not felt since Nixon kicked off--of course, this does not take into account last summer when President Reagan passed away. That was not nostalgia--that was grief. President Reagan was and continues to be The Conservative Chick's hero and favorite political figure of the 20th century.

Perhaps her not-quite-healed Reagan grief is the reason for The Conservative Chick's current wistfulness, since Sandy was a Reagan appointee. Indeed, what twenty-something Republican woman can forget when Sandy stepped up to the bench, fulfilling the Gipper's campaign promise to appoint a female to the Supremes? The Conservative Chick remembers her own excitement--if this spunky yet grandmotherly woman with her lace ascot and Babs Bush hair could sit at the highest court in the land, was there any door left closed to the female of the species?

Even now, many years after Sandy'a wildly swinging vote popped that little girl's bubble of idealism and pint-sized feminine solidarity, The Conservative Chick still fondly remembers the first female justice to break the barrier. After all, O'Connor-authored opinions have long been at once the bane and the crowning amusement of law students everywhere. Witness the opinion in the World Wide Volkswagen decision, in which Sandy likened interstate commerce to a stream, in which the vendor places a leaf, never knowing exactly where that leaf may float, having traversed mountains and valleys, and praries populated by mischeivous little prarie dogs, and pretty flowers, and studly cowboys that. . .well, you get the point. To this day, The Conservative Chick believes she could pick out an O'Connor opinion in two sentences or less.

But possibly the best Sandy story The Conservative Chick recalls is not one of her opinions, but an anecote related by one of the other justices. Apparently, tradition at the court requires the junior justice to answer the door when the nine justices are assembled in conference. When Sandy first joined the court, the male justices, particularly Justice Renquist, were unsure what to do in this situation. Could they remain seated while a woman jumped up to answer the door for them? When the situation eventually did present itself, Sandy jumped up to answer the knock, but was waved back into her seat by a male justice. In the tradition of strong, sensible women everywhere, she paid no attention and went to answer the door. She was the junior justice, and she would fulfill her traditional role--all parts of it. When she returned to her seat, the male justices were all visibly uncomfortable, but Justice O'Connor laughed it off. If she could make it to the Supreme Court, she insisted, she could make it to the door and back.

And that is why The Conservative Chick remains wistful this morning, thinking of what Sandra Day O'Connor once represented. This, Gloria Steinem, is the kind of woman who truly paves the way for the rest of us. Please take note.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Break out the cosmos, ladies!

Happy Women's History Month! (Did you know it was Women's History Month, dear readers? The Conservative Chick, despite her obsessive love of current events and excuses for celebratory martinis had forgotten until very recently. She promises to be more up on things in the future. Really.)

In a celebration of the non-alcoholic variety and in no particular order, The Conservative Chick presents Ten Women to Remember as you raise your glasses and toast the female of the species this month. Whether or not you admire or agree with them, they have paved the way for you and women across the globe. May we follow in their footsteps and continue the paths they began.

1. Your mom (role model, reader of bedtime stories), because everything you are today really did start with eating your green beans and doing your homework.

2. Joan of Arc (soldier, friend of God, martyr), because sometimes the voice in your head really isn't your other personality.

3. Alice Paul (suffragette, hunger-striker), because sometimes the road to freedom passes behind prison walls.

4. Aung San Suu Kyi (rightfully elected president of Burma, political prisoner), because freedom from fear is the most profound liberty one can possess--and the only one that can never be taken away.

5. Barbara Bush (presidential wife and mom, matriarch), because the hand that rocks the cradle will always rule the world.

6. Queen Esther (beauty queen, savior of the Jewish people), because some men will do anything for a pretty face and a friendly smile.

7. Oprah Winfrey (media magnate, self-confessed "girlie girl"), because you don't have to sacrifice femininity to succeed.

8. Indira Ghandi (prime minister, mother), because sometimes listening to your dad leads to great things.

9. Mother Theresa (missionary, future saint), because love really does change the world.

10. Condoleezza Rice (college professor, author, secretary of state), because no matter where you started, there is no place you can't go.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Sentence Watch

Oh. . .so many things on The Conservative Chick's mind this morning. More snow is apparently on its way to Boston to blanket us in wet nastiness until mid-May. Tiny Red Shorts Man picked a spot directly in front of The Conservative Chick's elliptical machine this morning at the gym, all the better to nauseate with his fifteen minutes of peek-a-boo stretches. Another religious leader's deception and depravity is now a legal fact, as Father Disgusting Pervert (aka Paul Shanley) has finally been convicted. Oh, and of course we have the state of Virginia outlawing Plumber's Butt by implementing a $50 fine for anyone displaying their underwear in public.

But the recurring issue of this week seems to be not Plumber's Butt or more sidewalks to shovel. No, this issue is even more serious than the start of The Conservative Chick's Lenten abandonment of Starbucks.

On Monday, FoxNews (Last Media Outpost of Sanity and Home to Studly News Anchor Shepard Smith--call me, Shep!) reported that a New York pediatrician who pled guilty to possessing child pornography was given a $5,000 fine and three years probation. Yeah, I know. Probation. For a pediatrician who likes to look at naked pictures of children. The Conservative Chick is no expert on pedophilia, but she bets that seeing naked children in person--unconscious naked children--is pretty damn exciting to these pervs. Anyone else here believe that Dr. Morally Depraved never acted on his impulses when confronted with a scared, sick child who trusted him because we're taught from birth that doctors hold our best interests at heart? Yeah, thought not.

This morning, The Boston Globe reports that a man who decapitated another man he met at an AA meeting, and took the victim's head to Florida, pled guilty to manslaughter. Now, assuming this is voluntary manslaughter (and once you decapitate someone, The Conservative Chick believes you have moved way beyond "didn't mean to" territory), this carries a sentence of 12 1/2 to 25 years. Yes, that's right. 25 years for beating a man to death, chopping off his head, and taking it to Florida. As a reluctant student of government economics, The Conservative Chick understands that prosecutors often pursue a plea bargain to offset the cost of a trial, or because the evidence against the defendent is unreliable. But 12 1/2 years for a brutal, violent murder? This is simply reprehensible. What's more disturbing is that this case is a clear-cut example of premeditated murder--the killer brought both a pipe and a knife with him when he met the victim. No word on whether he also brought a candlestick, a rope or Mrs. Peacock.

President Bush spoke in his State of the Union Address about overcoming this "culture of death" that is subverting our society. While The Conservative Chick knows Bush was primarily speaking about abortion and euthanasia (because let's face it, the man probably has an autographed picture of Ol' Sparky on his desk), she believes that this "culture of death" is part of the reason for the above sentencing atrocities and many, many more.

Beginning with Roe v. Wade and continuing with Dr. Kevorkian's Gospel of Offing Yourself, the harvesting of useless stem cells from living embryos, and the fight against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, America has increasingly disregarded the value of human life. In the Brave New World many of our illustrious members of government wish to bring about, we will casually murder our very young and our very old, weed out those with undesirable disabilities before they draw a single breath, and create human life for the purpose of ending it. So why would we care if one man murders another? Why punish a doctor for taking advantage of innocent children when his colleagues are free to slaughter them at will? Why even bother to cure diseases when we could just eliminate the victims? Surely we don't need those sorts of people. I mean, what have Albert Einstein, Helen Keller, and Stephen Hawking done for us lately?

President Bush was right. We do live in a culture of death--but it goes far beyond abortion and the death penalty. If we want to change that culture, we as a society must begin to value life and protect it in the form of strong sentencing laws for those who steal our most precious gifts: life and innocense.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Patriots by 3!

Last night, The Conservative Chick and her roommates, LawGirl and Misplaced Californian, sacked out in the Conservative Diva Lounge to watch that most blessed of Sunday night events, the Super Bowl. Due to New Years resolutions 5-8, which concerned such things as Gym Attendence and Not Gorging One's Self on Take-Out from China Maxim, they were forced to bypass hot wings and nachos in favor of Big Salads and Tiny Cookies, but the spirit of the game was still present. The Heart Attack Pats once again proved true to their nickname, causing the Ladies numerous agonies--including an Eagles 4th quarter touchdown pass of more than FORTY YARDS--and by the two-minute warning, The Conservative Chick was on the ground counting down the seconds until she could breathe again. But in the end, Supreme Quarterback/Studmuffin God Tom Brady and Everyone's Favorite Sweatshirt Wearin' Coach Bill Belichick pulled through, with some excellent help from Cutie-pie Dad of Adorable Twins Tedy Bruschi and Should Have Been an Underwear Model MVP Deion Branch. All that remains is the buying of more Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots gear (last year's shirt is a little faded anyway) and copious ogling of Tom Brady's most excellent rear end during the Victory Parade. (And while she is on the subject of Things Deserving Divine Gratitude, The Conservative Chick thanks the Almighty that Boston fans celebrated in good form last night, with no shootings, fires or "Yankees Suck" cheers--even though they do. Suck, that is.)

Now that the game is over, The Conservative Chick has a moment to reflect on the build-up to the big event. Thankfully, she lives in an apartment where sports--particularly football and baseball--are revered by its female occupants. LawGirl is a most ardent Red Sox and Patriots fan, and during play offs routinely yells so loudly at the television that players may actually have a chance at hearing her. Misplaced Californian is slightly less obsessive, but nearly always comes around by the 3rd quarter. The Conservative Chick herself is more of a silent, superstitious fan--no game will ever be lost because she attempted to call the outcome before the half. It has come to the Ladies' attention, however, that the Conservative Diva Lounge is an exception and not the rule. Even in sports-mad Boston, some women are still bound by the outdated "Ew--Sports are for Boys!" mentality.

Earlier in the week--alas, earlier in the day--The Conservative Chick was dismayed to find that most of her female friends had not planned to watch the game! Ms. Tex, The Conservative Chick's co-worker, had shamelessly confessed that she "really doesn't like football." How Ms. Tex managed to live through the Cowboys' 1990s dynasty without head trauma remains a mystery. The Conservative Chick did not even bother to ask Runaway Georgian if she planned to watch the game; last fall RG had to be told that the World Series is not automatically played in New York, whether or not the Yankees win the pennant. Even Jersey Girl, who was so beautifully converted into a Red Sox fan last summer, told The Conservative Chick Sunday afternoon at brunch that she had no plans to watch the game, but instead was going with MathBoy to a movie. A FOREIGN movie. Now, The Conservative Chick loves a good subtitled tear-jerker herself, but on Super Bowl Sunday? Not even if it starred Ari Fleischer. It's simply Un-American. (Actually, The Conservative Chick is currently working on a theory that Jersey Girl may have some previously undisclosed French origins. She's just saying.)

The Conservative Chick has one question: What happened to feminism, ladies? Surely all those "Girls Kick Ass" tee shirts seen on Harvard Square hippy-ettes are not just. . .posturing. No, no--it is unthinkable. Messages worn on a tee shirt are always central to one's psyche. It must be something else. Hmm. What would drive young women away from such a traditionally American festiv--ah. Mm-hm. The Conservative Chick may have hit upon a clue.

Those of you lucky enough to live in Red States may not be entirely aware how much your average, every day Blue Stater truly hates outward signs of Patriotism. Why, only yesterday, The Conservative Chick was accosted by an over-educated cry-baby who had mounted a slain Uncle Sam on the roof of his (dirty, gas-guzzling) Honda along with a Josef Stalin quote regarding vote-counting, and a handmade "Barbara Boxer for President" sign. When asked about the recent election theft in Washington State, said cry-baby had no comment. . .well, no comment beyond some mumbling about Ohio. Apparently in Vote Counting Math, 153,00 (Bush's approximate lead in Ohio) is far more questionable than 159 (Gregoire's lead after the third WA recount, in which unsigned ballots were counted). The Conservative Chick is no mathematician, but she believes she would rather have 153,000 pairs of shoes than 159 pairs of shoes, though perhaps this is merely because she has not spent enough time at Harvard. According to the cry-baby's vehicular art, free elections in this country lasted from 1776 - 2000. The Conservative Chick wonders if Alice Paul and Harriet Beecher Stowe would agree.

The point of this tangent is: do these Anti-American liberals so fear being seen as (gasp!) American, that they can take no enjoyment out of our history, our culture and even our pastimes? The Conservative Chick fears it is so. When one puts on a red, white and blue jersey and dedicates an afternoon to cheering for an American football team (or baseball team, or basketball team), it becomes difficult to maintain one's separation from the screaming masses who voted for Bush, who make up our Armed Forces and who get a little choked up when the pre-game show is dedicated to the amazing men and women who keep us free. It is hard to maintain disdain when you are united for a field goal.

The Conservative Chick is no xenophobe. She loves her friends from other nations. . .yes, even those from France. . .and her Happy Place is a tree-bordered church yard in County Mayo. But neither is she ashamed to cheer for a team named for Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin and Dawes. So keep your dignified, white-clad tennis players, and your Only-in-Bizarro-World biopics. The Conservative Chick will be lined up outside Fenway Park with her "I Believed" tee shirt, hoping for a glimpse of Mark Bellhorn. Opening Day is only two months away, you know.